A Collaborative Quest
“Social Justice in the Southern U.S.” is designed to be experimental in nature, where students travel throughout the Southern U.S., specifically through Greensboro, N.C., Atlanta, Montgomery, Ala., New Orleans, Little Rock, Ark., and Nashville, Tenn.
“The course was about breaking down the largely inaccurate notions many have about the South,” says Mattie, a double major in Community and Justice Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Sociology.
Students received direct training on dismantling systems of oppression; understanding the intersections of identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, and immigration status); and how broader systems affect the lives of individuals and social groups at the intersection of these identities.
The group visited a variety of organizations, including Siembra NC, the International Civil Rights Museum, Southern Fried Queer Pride, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, among others. They also met with Chief Diversity Officer Sybol Anderson at Loyola University, activist Judia Holton ’18, and members of the JUMP Research Collective.
“We spend a lot of time talking, reading, and learning about all the amazing work people around the country are doing to dismantle oppression,” says Ten, a Community and Justice Studies major and Religious Studies minor. “To go learn with them, engage with their methods for peace and community building, seemed like an experience my peers and I could benefit from. This is, after all, the work many of us will continue.”